The Crafts Council OF India’s (CCI) ‘Textile Show’, which will be held on July 22 and 23 at MRC Centre, RA Puram in Chennai, has brought good news to designer entrepreneurs, weavers and printers who will be part of the show. The Textile Show is back after an enforced gap of two years when the pandemic ruined the prospects of all textile shows in the country & abroad. The Textile Show was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic. And in 2022 we did a very small exhibition.

This time, it is back in a big way and the artisans have had enough time to come out with new products,” says Gita Ram, chairperson, CCI.

The Textile Show will feature classic Benarasi saris, mesmerising Balucharis woven with scenes from the ‘Mahabharata’ and ‘Ramayana’, Paithanis in jewel tones, rare Himroo sarees .. Chanderi kurtas and sarees, as well as muga, gheecha and tussars with delicate, floating motifs; handblocked sarees and kurtas, chikankari ensembles, Mangalgiri yardage and more.

Most of the weavers were badly hit during the pandemic. That why CCI considers each saree the result of “the magic of the weavers’ hands, his pride and passion for his craft and his loom, all through the dark, devastating Covid-19 days”.“Since we use only natural dyes, the sarees are expensive and nobody was buying it as many people had lost their jobs and were struggling for survival. The Delhi Craft Council helped us and also organised an exhibition in Delhi in 2021,says JeenuPanika, a designer-entrepreneur from a small town in India. Other weavers feel the pandemic and lockdown actually prompted them to take their business online. “We didn’t know earlier that we could sell our weaves online and on social media. So, in a way, it benefitted us as we were able to take our weaves to a wider market,” says a creator of Bandhini sarees, scarves and dupattas, who has collaborated with fashion designers from the University of Wisconsin, USA, and also Srishti School of Design, Bengaluru.